Methodology to develop a biostimulant from Cichorium intybus var. foliosum (Belgian Endive)

01 November 2022 → 13 February 2025
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Natural products chemistry
  • Engineering and technology
    • Sustainable development
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Crop science
    • Agricultural plant breeding and biotechnology
Belgian Endive by-product biostimulant crop production
Project description

There is an increased pressure on crop production due to population increase projections. This coupled with the need to reduce agrochemicals use in agricultural practices, require sustainable intervention in crop production. To reduce the environmental impact of chemical fertilizers, while securing crop yield and consumers safety, several alternative and sustainable products including biostimulants are currently available in the market. Nevertheless, this is still insufficient, new, sustainable, and eco-friendly products need to be discovered. The project aims to pave the path for a biostimulant derived from Belgian endive root by-product. Water extracts of these roots were shown to stimulate root and shoot growth (SBO-FWO project BIO2BIO). Further studies will focus on the enrichment and chemical characterization of the bioactive ingredients. The bioactivity enriched fractions will be used to study the local and systemic physiological response of Arabidopsis seedlings to treatments. A comparative transcriptome study will be conducted to identify a core selection of genes that are regulated upon biostimulant treatment. The potential of endive roots extract as a biostimulant will be assessed by performing open field and pot experiments.